An Open Letter to Barclays Global Investors

Posted by at 8:50PM

Dear Barclays Global Investors,
I attended Stanford’s 2009 Career Fair in White Plaza last week. I have zero interest in working for you or for any of the companies represented, and neither you nor any of the other companies represented should have any interest in hiring me. We have a great symbiotic understanding in that sense.
I attended this event, however, just as I attend every possible Career Fair. This is not to seek out jobs, or marvel at all of the juniors, seniors, and graduate students at Stanford attempt to look professional for a small portion of the day; rather, my attendance is solely based on the ubiquity of free pens and other desktop knickknacks being dispensed like free candy.
It’s free advertising, and I’m happy to do it. We have a great symbiotic relationship in that sense.

Given this sea of free pens that was the 2009 Career Fair, your table, Barclays Global Investors, stood out like a beacon: you were offering a free item that seemed remarkably useful outside of the limited pen universe.
I speak, of course, of the umbrellas that you were doling out: small and compact, with its own baggie case and a faux-wood handle. It looked so good–perhaps too good to be true. If it ever rained in sunny California, I would be well-prepared with Barclays Global Investors over my head.
And then it rained, and it rained hard. I searched my bag excitedly for my Barclays Global Investors umbrella, ready to trek out into the raging storm and quietly mock everyone who lacked a nice Barclays Global Investors umbrella. I found it, removed the very nice Barclays Global Investors baggie case, opened it up, and headed towards class.
By the time I got to Santa Teresa road, my beloved Barclays Global Investors umbrella that I received from your table at the Career Fair was broken: one of the spokes had ripped through the umbrella top and the whole structure repeatedly got bent out of shape by the wind. The umbrella was not make it to Y2E2 alive.
So, Barclays Global Investors, I want to let you know that the umbrella I received from you at the fair was of the poorest quality. As such, I will struggle to shamelessly and freely advertise your brand, and might even have to question your commitment to the quality of products that bear your name.
In conclusion, I may have to pay for an umbrella next time.
Josh Freedman



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